So it’s get a Masters or bust…

In September 2009 I started a Masters degree at Birkbeck College, University of London. I am now on the home straight and with several big deadlines looming – especially the handing in of my research project on August 31st 2011.

I’ve seen various people using blogs to talk about things they are dealing with (job hunting, marathon running) and have decided to try and use this to deal with all the nonsense going on in my head with respect to my project. The details of the project will be discussed (try and remain calm) but wanted to start with a little context…

It was during a discussion of Exec Education (I work in L&D for a corporate) that my boss asked me if I had thought of doing any further study (I have a first degree in Life Sciences and did the CIPD diploma) and the idea appealed to me, for several reasons:

1. I was new in a role which was very exposed and I was feeling out of my depth in terms of the content – I felt I lacked subject matter expertise and knowing myself as I do, I know I am at my best operating from a position of confidence

2. Knowing that at some point I would want to climb the slippery ladder, that some academic validation would not go amiss

3. The fact that my boss was open to supporting it felt like a gesture of support and endorsement

4. I hadn’t REALLY thought it through…

Following several conversations with friends and colleagues (especially 1 supplier for whom I have a great deal of respect) I settled on Birkbeck because it was well respected, came well recommended and had a distance learning option (my work commitments make it difficult to do ‘2 nights a week’). On attending on the open day the words which I recall but should have really should have sought to understand more are “it’s a very academic course”. More of that later!

So here I sit 18 odd months later having passed (and only passed, no glory for me it seems) several essays, some exams and having attended 5 weekend workshops (slogs) with 1 essay, 2 exams and THE PROJECT left to finish – so from here until August 31st, it’s Masters or bust….



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6 responses to “So it’s get a Masters or bust…

  1. Several colleagues on my MBA found the moment that ‘coping’ became ‘not coping’ was when the dissertation loomed. Up until then, normal workplace disciplines sufficed but the size and reach of the thing made it look like a mountain to climb. For what it’s worth, I think an L&D background is helpful here – you are used to reducing complex issues to communicable chunks and that is ultimately what your project will require of you.

    If you think I can help, drop me a line. From sharing a beer and a moan to reading and commenting, I’m happy to pitch in.

  2. Peter Hros

    Good luck with your study Rob. You are nearly there and I bet you feel the difference already. Having done 2 major projects and endless amount of essays and reports in last 5 years, let me know if you need help with anything academic or academic writing.
    Best of luck.

  3. Zoe

    Just wanted to say good luck with your studies – as a fellow student (OU MBA/MSc HRM) I will be looking forward to your posts

  4. garethmjones

    Nice one Mr Jones! At last a blog of your own – now i can wax lyrical about your musings instead of the other way around 😉

    Good luck with the journey, keep us posted and i look forward to sharing it with you!

  5. Emma P

    Firstly good first blog post. Secondly, I feel your pain. It will be worth it in the end (I keep telling myself that anyway).

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